“I wanted my kids and other kids out there to know that Christmas is a really great time to share love and compassion without spending tons of money, that it is the time to give back where you can make a homemade card, give back the love and compassion we get back from other people,” Griffis said of her decision to publish the children’s book.
Now she hopes that “The Christmas Gift” will join other classic holiday stories in imparting the true meaning of the holiday.
Griffis is having a book signing Sunday at Yawn’s Books and More in downtown Canton from 2 to 4 p.m. Yawn’s handled the publishing of the book for the local author.
The author is asking that those who attend the book signing bring a used children’s book to donate to the Give a Kid a Chance program in Cherokee County.
In addition to being mom to Kennedy, 3, and Barret, 6, who inspired the book, Griffis works for the nonprofit Cherokee FOCUS in the Youth Works Program where she trains young people and helps with job placement. Griffis lives in Canton with husband, Brian, and her family.
“Barret said to me right around Christmas, what do you want for Christmas, and there was nothing physically that I wanted, and I thought how better to explain than through a book.” Griffis said.
The book is set in the 1930s, when Griffis says Christmas was a simpler time.
“Christmas was not so commercialized then; children got one toy, maybe a teddy bear or a doll, and I wanted the book to remind us of simpler times,” she said. “Christmas should be a cherished time, when you pick out one toy and love it for a long time. It is not always what you get but what you do for other people.”
In 2009, Griffis earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Kennesaw State University, and it was while there that she discovered her own gift for writing.
“I actually just wrote research, and one of my teachers liked my writing and I kind of started writing to get out my thoughts and feelings,” she said.
The book will be released on Thursday and is illustrated by Brenda Reinhardt.
“Brenda is incredible, and the book is illustrated based on the 1930s, and she did a wonderful job depicting that,” Griffis said. “My hope is that it encourages people to take gifts to a needy family or donate to other, that it helps people to give back.”
The book will be available at Yawn’s Books & More, 198 North Street, Canton, or online at www.yawnspublishing.com, www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. eBook are also available at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.
WHAT: Book signing for “The Christmas Gift”
WHERE: Yawn’s Books and More, 198 North Street, Canton
WHEN: 2 to 4 p.m.